We always knew the NFC East race would essentially come down to this.
And now the day is finally here.
It’s naturally tempting to envision the outcome where the Eagles emerge victorious. Beat Dallas this week and beat the New York Giants next week and clinch the division. End the Cowboys’ season in disappointment. Head into the playoffs riding a four-game win streak. Feel good about Carson Wentz as the team’s franchise quarterback moving forward as he revives a team that looked left for dead after losing to the Miami Dolphins.
It’d be great if these hopes were actualized.
Unfortunately, they won’t be.
The Eagles are not going to beat the Cowboys.
It’s not enjoyable to write. You’re well within your rights to call me a downer.
But it comes down to this for me: the Eagles don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
I truly believed they were going to win each of their last three meaningful Cowboys matchups ... and they didn’t. How could I really expect things to be different this time around? How has the calculus really changed?
The Eagles have never proven they can shut down Ezekiel Elliott or Amari Cooper. Maybe Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury helps Jim Schwartz’s unit ... but maybe the supposed ailment turns out to be a total non-factor in this game.
If the Cowboys are able to put up a lot of points, it’s hard to expect a short-handed Eagles offense to outpace them. Carson Wentz beat Washington by only having one reliable wide receiver — practice squad call up Greg Ward — to work with. It feels like the Eagles running their offense exclusively through tight ends and running backs isn’t sustainable. Having NFL caliber receivers is a necessity, not a luxury.
Again, the Eagles don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. They’re home underdogs in this game for a reason. The onus is on them to prove the doubters wrong.
I fully expect the Birds to fight hard but I’ll believe they can actually beat the Cowboys when I see it happen.
Score prediction: 28 to 27, Eagles lose.
Bold prediction: Carson Wentz does not fumble.
Leave your own score predictions in the comments.
Which team will win: Cowboys or Eagles?
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